Dear Reader

How are you holding up?  So many countries, you are always on the go.  Do you like flying?  I hope so.

When you aren’t in the U.K. or Brazil, Italy, France and all those other places, you come to Canada.  Do you like it the best?

I’ll pour some wine.

That solar vortex they’ve been talking about, it’s hit Vancouver.  It is very beautiful but cold.  Whistler cold.  Antarctica cold.  Ok, not that cold.

The wine is good.  Prophecy  Pinot Noir  California

Have you ever been to California?  It’s wonderful!  I feel like a million the moment I step off that plane…It’s winter here, it’s dark, people are coughing.

The drive to the airport…

A lot of drugs and alcohol later, a balmy breeze ruffles my freshly coiffed hair, gently dispersing the Chanel Chance green I bought at the duty free.  Flowering cacti blanket the sandy hills.  But I digress …

I’ve been meaning to express my appreciation.  You’ve been with me for 10 years. Thank you!

Every now and then I look for where you are, and wonder what you’re doing there.  What are you doing there?  Really?

I’m going to California soon.  The sun will be setting.  The air will be sweet.

You were in Egypt yesterday.  Is the terrain similar?  Have you been to the pyramids?  Does the desert bloom?

So many questions.  I’m more of a listener.

Dear Reader, enjoy your travels.  Stay in touch.

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Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns

In Scottish

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

English translation

Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!

Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old head of the table, most like to burst,
‘The grace!’ hums.

Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He’ll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off
Like the heads of thistles.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

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She said

She said:  You seemed a little tentative last time I brought trifle.

20 minutes after dinner, while she’s freshening up,

then midnight to 2 should finish it.

She said:  But I know you like custard

… still a few hours tomorrow morning before the noon deadline …

She said:  So I made it myself

Bernie’s away. I’ll have to chair the directors’ meeting.

She looks very pleased with herself.

Check the agenda.

She said:  I did keep the jello. I know you like raspberries!

Ok…, distracted now by the open wine …

Good, as long as no one wants to add Other Business …

She said:  Mmmm

She’s smelling it.

I probably won’t need the time anyway, but it’ll take the pressure off.

She likes it.

She said:  Ouzo?

“Sure!”

Those grey sheer curtains aren’t working. That was their mistake. I know I ordered …

She said:  Cheers!

“Cheers!”

clink

I’ll be in the Review at least until 2, last time it was after 3,

…what is the topic?

She is very pretty,

warm eyes.

She said:  Earth to Asteroid 8240, come in…

She seems so happy to see me.

I love her laugh.

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The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein, Introduction by Brian Greene

Brian Greene and I speak the same language, English, at least in some of his books.

His simple explanations bring concepts into focus for simple me.

His Introduction was a pleasure.

And then the Introduction ended.

The main event began.

The Meaning of Relativity

page 1:

“The theory of relativity is closely connected with the theory of space and time. I shall therefore begin with a brief investigation of the origin of our ideas of space and time, although in doing so I know that I introduce a controversial subject. …”*

As much as I cherished the lessons from Brian Greene, here now was Albert Einstein, talking to me like I understood every word.

Bliss.

Communication is so important. Despite the wide chasm in our I.Q.s, we were doing just fine since we met 3 minutes ago. I eased deeper into the Macy’s Martha Stewart medium and extra firm pillows, took some deep relaxing breaths, and rejoiced in my good luck to finally be introduced to him, Albert Einstein, after all these years. Why had I resisted for so long?

page 3:

“…By means of simple changes in position we can bring two bodies into contact…”*

He is a sweet talker. I don’t mind.

But then, as all relationships do I suppose, a perturbation arose.  It happened when I turned to page 4;  a lack of understanding if you will, a gap.

What was that?

– An equation.

I read the passage once more, and again.  Yes, phew, got through that hurdle.  And we are back on track.

“Does anyone ever call you Al?”

Onward to page 5.

Here again was a challenge. Another equation. But it was small, simple letters.

Got it. Where there is a will there is a way Al.  Now that I’ve found you I’m going to persevere.

And so Al continued his discourse.

Wow! Who knew? Me and Al.

Until page 6, where a total communication break down occurred.

Sadly, our relationship was over.

With a heavy heart I turned off the light.

I will always remember the hope. And now, to dream.

*The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein with an Introduction by Brian Greene
Princeton University Press, New Princeton Science Library Edition, 2014
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Bernie Sanders I Love You

NYT, Seth Wenig/Associated Press

NYT, Seth Wenig/Associated Press

No I do not want to look at your condo rental in Santa Monica

Not your baby cousin either.

“Mmm”

Not your begonia or any of its friends, the trifle you made, shoes exactly like our server has – I’m taking your word for it.

“Cheers!”

Yesterday’s sunset, your brother’s car, the full moon.

“It doesn’t do justice to it does it? It’s always bigger than the picture shows.”

I haven’t seen you in a while. Put down your device. Look at me. I’m talking to you.

“Did you finish the eagle sculpture you were working on?”

Ah, yes. There it is. Well, it is really grand.

“How is your mother?”

Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words.

“I’m taking my glasses off.”

I’m opening the case and dropping them in. There. And now, into the purse…

“It looks like a toxic dump. Oh, it’s the modern painting in your living room. Yes, I can kind of make that out, now that you mention it.” [squinting]

“No glasses…” [gesturing to eye area]

“Certainly. I have them.”

“No. Not going to. Talk to me.”

Yes, I’ve heard of YouTube.”

Check!

 

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I met an angel today

It was raining.  I set out without an umbrella because I wouldn’t be able to carry it with groceries. The rain had become heavy by the time I left the store.  Several tributaries swept the wide sidewalk.  A swiftly flowing stream filled the gutter.   Hard rain drops sank into my trench coat. I wondered how long the brown paper grocery bag could hold out.

A man appeared beside me, keeping my pace, holding his umbrella over us. I glanced up at him, expecting a friend or acquaintance but he was a stranger.  His umbrella was not oversized, just barely big enough for the two of us.  He was close, our sides touching. I looked at him again, directly up into his face.  He was tall.  Black hair, short, a little cowlick in the front. His complexion was pale and luminescent. I said “thank you” and introduced myself.  He told me his name: Ozzy.  We shook hands. “You’re like an angel,” I told him.  He didn’t respond. “How far are you going?” “Straight for a while,” he replied gently.

“Are you coming from work?” he asked.

“Yes, I just needed to pick up a few things.”  We came to my block.  “I am turning down here.”

Ozzy smiled, “Have a nice evening.” I wished him the same, thanking him again, and turned into the rain.

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